March 23, 2005 | Category:

Goodbye Macromedia

A question: if you had a tool which did what you wanted, had a decent interface, some nice features but only worked 95% of the time, would you keep it? That 5% is probably not that much unless it happens to be a tool that you use frequently and for long periods, then the 5% really starts to matter.

Macromedia Dreamweaver is that tool. For years now, I’ve been using it (in code viw) to build websites, write PHP and manage web based projects. In the last year or two though, the problems have been mounting up:

  • Huge amount of time to create a new site folder and associated data. It should not take minutes to open up a dialog. A minor nuisance, since new sites are relatively infrequent.
  • Partial function colouring in PHP. Some standard functions get the function call colouring (blue), others don’t. More than once this has made me second guess the function name.
  • Making .htaccess files incredibly difficult to open. It’s just a text file, it should not be that hard.
  • Munging data. Because of some angle bracket handling code that has gone horribly wrong, Dreamweaver occassionally changes my data without telling me. What do I mean? Removing the “less than” character from a conditional, for example, or taking chunks of what it believes to be XML away. Unforgivable.

In those same years, I’ve learned to be far less tolerant of problems with tools because I can generally be certain that the problem is not with me. I’ve also become fairly proficient with emacs, and my set-up suits me down the ground. I’m constantly impressed by new extensions tht I find, the commands have become second nature and the minimal interface works. Goodbye Dreamweaver, you should’ve worked 5% harder.